Recently, a dear friend showed me some messages she'd received from a bloke via a dating app. It was gross. I was ashamed to be of the same sex as the male that sent the messages, to think there are males out there that act like that. I felt like an ancient man, out of touch with how the humans communicate with each other. I feel saddened at how disgusting and brutal some forms of human communication have become. Often I feel like I'm an old man, rocking on a chair on a porch when I say things like this, but I have to share that I'm often repulsed by the lack of respect people have for each other, especially on social media, but also on the street, in public. It's like the wheels are falling off decent social values. I get lost in the internet tunnel in apps like Instagram, deep in the search function where you can look into the lives of other people, what they value, what they hold dear and what and who they aspire to be. I just don't get a lot of it. I don't understand why people do certain things, destructive things. I just don't get a lot of it.
I've been called a Nihilist on more than one occasion, and I guess thats why I like living in my bubble. Here things make sense to me. I surround myself in elements of nature and family, things I can understand. I'm not yelled at by a TV, we got rid of it years ago. I don't have junk mail in my letter box telling me to buy stuff, in fact no post gets delivered to our home, instead we have to travel to town and junk mail doesn't make it to PO boxes. I remember how the junk mail annoyed me when I lived in the city (yes, I had a no junk mail sign).
The other day I saw a well known local radio presenter working in his garden up here in the hills. When I visited the city this week I saw him again, not in person but on a billboard screwed to the back of a bus, advertising his radio show. I had to laugh a little. It was perfect metaphor for my style of living. I see the real stuff, not the billboard advertising it. It wasn't that long ago that I lived in a city, in fact most of my adult life I've resided in a built human environment. I much prefer where I am now. Not just physically, but for my mental health. Living out here, amongst the nature is brilliant for my sanity. It just proves how unhealthy city life has become, well for me anyhow. I'm a big believer that processed food has a lot to answer for in regards to anxiety and depression, but the noise, visual pollution, crowds, traffic, high cost of living etc all play their part too.
And then I'm in my garden, my dirt covered hands fumble through packets of vegetable seeds. I select the plants that will feed us over summer, eggplant, tomato, zucchini, squash, cucumber, basil, coriander and more. In a few weeks I'll begin to plant food that will feed us the following winter, the food that will store well like beans and pumpkin. I'll also plant the food that grows underground and gets it's start in late summer and grows through into autumn. The amazing root veg that enters torpor as the soil cools, and is easily plucked when needed in the depths of winter.
The seeds that have been drying on my shelves and in old glass jars since I last ate their fruit, will now serve their intended purpose. These seeds hold the genetic information of previous crops, and hold all the energy and goodness that will make them germinate and grow into another year of food to feed my family. So simple, so easy to understand.
The spring equinox has arrived, the days will be longer, my garden will see more sunlight and we will subsequently eat more vegetables. It's a beautiful system and it's one that I never really understood when I lived in the city, but makes sense to me now that I'm living deep within it's core. The dark days of winter are over, now the optimism of spring has returned. The beginning of the cycle, another year begins.
It will take a few months for these vegetables to feed us, in the meantime, I'll cook with the spring produce of mizuna, broad beans, peas, broccoli and endless rocket, kale and chard. There is always something to eat here, I even have a few potatoes and carrots stored underground ready for a supper. Even though I earn the least amount of money I've ever had, somehow I manage to eat like a king. Now how is that possible? ;-)